Readers’ eclipse photos

If I’d thought of it, I would have asked readers to send in photos that they took of the solar eclipse. But several did anyway, and here they are.

These are from Michael Glenister:

I drove from Vancouver down to Jefferson, Oregon to see the eclipse.  Even heading down the day before traffic was bad (the typically 2 hour drive to Seattle took 4 hours), and motels jacked their prices (eg. Super 8 in Salem wanted over $700 for one room for one person), so I made alternative arrangements.  No matter where you were, or how off the beaten track the roads were, people were out watching the eclipse (example provided).  Unfortunately that also meant we all headed home around the same time, so the congestion was terrible.  It was a lot of work for a very quick 2 minutes of totality.

That being said, the eclipse was in a word, beautiful.  Pictures don’t quite get across the effect as the edges of the moon gleam.  Imagine a really nice full moon, then imagine all but the edges of the moon are black.  It almost looked like something you would see in Lord of the Rings or some fantasy film where an evil spell steals the sun.  I just wish it could have lasted for hours.

Anyway, attached are my photos.  The pre-eclipse shots I took simply by taping my eclipse glasses over the lens of my camera.  I then removed it for the totality shots.  I also took a movie of the landscape during the eclipse to show how the light levels changed.  I was surprised that even at 90% I didn’t notice much difference in the light levels.

This is a sample of how people set up to watch the eclipse on pretty much every road I drove on.  Every rest stop was full of cars.  Any quiet road on which you could pull off to the side had cars.  Personally, I hunted for higher ground to try to catch the shadow moving across the countryside, and to set up my laptop camera to record it.  The quality isn’t great, and the wind shook the camera, but you are welcome to check out my posts on my Facebook page. [JAC: There are several movies near the top of the page.]

A lovely photo of eclipse totality from reader Barbara Wilson:

We set up chairs and tables in our driveway in Corvallis, Oregon, and enjoyed the eclipse.  Totality, taken with an ordinary camera.

And its shadow:

Leafy trees created crescent sun images on the sidewalk, lawn, and house. After totality the crescents pointed the other direction.  That makes sense and but I was surprised.  This eclipse was a great experience.

Before totality:

After totality:

Reader David called my attention to a photo (not his, I think) of one of the “eclipse viewing camps” in Oregon, where there were areas of totality. Look at all those people!

Unfortunately, I lost the name of the reader who sent these photos and description, but please write me if these are yours and I’ll give credit, location and any other information. At any rate, one reader photographed the eclipse through either a pinhole camera or binoculars and projected the image, which is this:

The reader went for a walk with his dog, and saw the reflections of the eclipse on the ground, having been filtered and projected through tiny interstices between the leaves of an overhanging tree:

And then, on the deck, similar shadows were projected through the holes in a metal table:

Finally, you may have noticed the absence of cats. To remedy that, reader jsp sent a photo of a great Cat Eclipse tee shirt:


  1. BJ
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Reader JSP better tell me where she got that shirt or Imma cut someone!

    • rebelterry
      Posted August 30, 2017 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      I concur! Where did JSP get that awesome shirt? I want one for my daughter!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Can I send another one?

    • Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Sure; I’ll add it to this post, but I’m going out and may not be able to do that until later.

  3. Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! Remember there is another one coming over Mexico and the U.S. in 2024.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      GravelInspector had a job interview in 1990.
      – “Do you have any holiday booked?” I was asked.
      “I will be watching the 1999 eclipse. No ‘if’, no ‘but’, no ‘maybe’; I’ll be there.”
      – “Oh, well that’s not going to be a problem. Got any suggestions?”

      Now is the time to get your bookings in.

      • Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        In 1979 we lived in Southern BC but were too poor to even afford the gas to drive to WA. Two years later my step father died of a heart attack at 46. Last year, his daughter, my half-sister, died of the same cause at 38.

        I wasn’t going to miss this one, and the only thing better than seeing it was watching my own son’s reaction.

        Carpe fucking diem.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:42 am | Permalink

          Carpe fucking diem.

          With both hands round the throat.

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink


    This is a great idea for a posting!

  5. Janet
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Like a few (!) others, I was in Madras, OR for the big event. It was indeed awesome. It got cold, I had to put on my coat. The ospreys (whose nest we could see clearly on a nearby structure) were seen bringing fish to their young for the hours prior to darkness, and then, boom, as it became dark they all dove into the nest to hunker down. Then, boom again, it was morning and they popped back out!
    In one of the lectures I attended I learned that a total solar eclipse is not an eclipse at all (wherein one celestial body is hidden in the shadow of another, so therefore a lunar eclipse is a true eclipse) but an occulation, wherein one body is hidden behind another. This misnomer will likely never be corrected!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      In one of the lectures I attended I learned that a total solar eclipse is not an eclipse at all (wherein one celestial body is hidden in the shadow of another, so therefore a lunar eclipse is a true eclipse) but an occulation, wherein one body is hidden behind another.

      Same difference. The eclipse of a star by New Horizons secondary target 2014MU69 has added a lot to our knowledge of the target system. See here.
      See also several of us discussing eclipses/ occultations of the Sun as seen from other Solar System bodies in related threads.

    • Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Can’t help it: occulation = osculation.

  6. Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I was at home in King’s Lynn, Norfolk when the eclipse happened, and thick grey cloud (all too regular in this part of the world!) is not a great medium thrugh which to view it!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ve viewed several partials through obscuring cloud. You need to be *very* careful if you’re using binos or ‘scope on the Sun-through-cloud, but it can be done.
      Projection works well too.

  7. Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I was at home in King’s Lynn, Norfolk when the eclipse happened, and thick grey cloud (all too regular in this part of the world!) is not a great medium thrugh which to view it!

  8. busterggi
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Maybe it was the angle or maybe it was the % covered but the leaf thing didn’t work in Connecticut this time around.

    What was weird to me was the number of people outside watching the eclipse on their i-phones.

  9. Posted August 23, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The “eclipse viewing camps” in Oregon” is Summit Prairie, a privately owned area within the Ochoco National Forest. It was rented by someone who put on a big music festival that started the Thursday before the eclipse. He drilled wells, bulldozed in roads, and bulldozed in the lake. (There was no lake, not even a wetland, before.) I think 28,000 vehicles showed up, mostly with multiple people.

    The prairie was what the promoter called “unproductive scabland.” Or to a botanist, it was an area of diverse and interesting plants, including wildflowers, and their associated insects. The Forest Service’s Dudley Creek exclosure adjacent to the prairie has unusually diverse sedges. I regret the environmental losses.

  10. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    A bit off topic, but I regret I didn’t photo the 2nd most bizarre thing I saw at the eclipse.

    A rest stop on Hwy 5 in Oregon which on the south side had a warning to tourists warning that most folks hanging out at these rest stops asking for financial help were phony scam artists. There was a photo of a derelict holding up a piece of brown cardboard with black painted lettering saying “FAKE I NEED HELP SIGN”.

    400 yards to the North at the opposite end of the same rest stop was a non-derelict guy leaning against an SUV with a brown cardboard sign with black painted lettering saying “MY SON HAS CANCER. EVERY DONATION HELPS.”

    • Posted August 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Usually the beggers are close to the signs, because most of the people are there.

  11. Filippo
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Can anyone recommend a link which CLEARLY describes WHY the shadow hitting the Earth during a solar eclipse is a 3D cone shape instead of a cylinder shape? I’ve seen not a few diagrams showing how the lights shine, with (what I gather are) a posteriori “just so” statements, but no straightforward explanation.

    Could an explanation include the (assumed) fact that, once a photon leaves the surface of the sun, it can go in any direction? Lawrence Krauss says it takes approx. 1,000,000 years, plus approx. 8 1/2 minutes, for a photon of light to hit the Earth (assuming it happenstancely is aimed directly toward the Earth).

    I’m quite sure that I saw in my binoculars the 3D moon shadow during the several minutes before totality. I gather that I saw the 3D shadow due to the Earth’s atmosphere. Would that I had videoed it; surely I would have apprehended the shadow’s movement were it fast-forwarded.

  12. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    My tweets post, when it comes out later today, will include video of the eclipse from a plane.

  13. Posted August 23, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    My son-in-law had a large gathering of friends at his farm in Jefferson, OR the night before the eclipse where they set up tents, had a potluck, sang, had a good time. Then watched the eclipse the next day. Much less than 28,000
    cars, but I’m sure these kinds of get-togethers were not uncommon in OR.

    I was glad that even those of us like me who are relatively ignorant of the science associated with an eclipse, could imagine and sympathize with our many-moons-ago ancestor’s
    fear and panic. And, their mythologies and explanations.

    A big problem in Oregon was the haze from fires all over the northwest. It didn’t prevent viewing, but undoubtedly affected how well one could see the event.

    I tried to take some pictures with my smart phone by putting the “glasses” lens in front of the camera lens, but was unsuccessful. Thanks to all who have shared their wonderful pictures.

  14. ivarhusa
    Posted September 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed the eclipse from a rough campsite beside Long Creek, just north of John Day, Oregon. What spectacular views of the heavens from there. We enjoyed very clear skies (starting at 4,000 ft elevation!). The Milky Way the night before was impressive, too.

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